What to eat before a job interview

What should you eat before an interview?

A good diet can improve focus, sharpen your memory and even help to fight depression and anxiety, so it pays to eat well in the lead up to an important interview of you want to perform at your best.

By now most of us know the basics of job interview preparation; research the role and company, practice some common interview questions and polish your CV.

But what about dietary preparation?

Check out StandOut CV’s pre-interview diet infographic to find out what the best foods to fuel your body and mind are before a crucial interview.

What to eat before a job interview

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What to eat before a job interview

Nutrition is important in every aspect of life so it shouldn’t be overlooked when preparing for an important interview. Your body and mind need the right nutrients to be able to perform optimally and only by eating the right foods, will you provide yourself with these nutrients. A poor diet can lead to lethargy, tiredness, demotivation and even depression; whereas a balanced healthy diet can improve focus, memory, mood and alertness.

In the build up to your next big interview, make sure that you pay attention to what you’re eating (and what you’re not eating) to give yourself the best chance of having a balanced mind and well-functioning body.


Key Take Aways

  • Stock up on omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in salmon, cod liver oil and eggs; they help the body to build brain cell membranes and promote new brain cell formation. Benefits include mood improvement, improved memory and sharpened focus… great for any interview situation.
  • Take plenty of B vitamins on board as they support the production of serotonin, dopamine and GABA which balance your brain chemicals to keep you calm during a tense interview. B vitamins are found greens such as peas, broccoli and spinach, as well as eggs and meat.
  • Eat plenty of wholegrains found in brown cereals, brown pasta and granary bread; they release glucose into the bloodstream which is the main fuel source for the brain. Benefits of wholegrain consumption include increased concentration and focus.
  • Drinking a moderate amount of coffee before an interview can certainly have benefits but approach with caution (especially if you are not a regular coffee drinker). Caffeine found in coffee causes the release of adrenaline which increase alertness, sharpens vision and reduces tiredness after 20 minutes of consuming. Effects will wear off after 3 hours and cause a “crash” so time your coffee consumption correctly before your interview. Caffeine has been known to have a laxative effect on around 3 in 10 people, so if you fall in to this category, it may be best to avoid coffee all together.
  • Avoid large amounts of carbohydrates like bread, potatoes and pasta just before your interview, as they cause the brain to release lots of tryptophan which reduced alertness and can even cause you to doze off.
  • Odorous foods like garlic and onions should be avoided for 24 hours before your interview as they not only cause bad breath, but can even be secreted from your sweat glands, which won’t create a great first impression.
  • It’s essential to stay hydrated but too much water before an interview will have you running for the bathroom between every question. Drink a little beforehand and ask the interviewer for a glass to stop your mouth from drying during the interview itself.


Tasty brain boosting pre-interview meals

Eat between 1-2 hours before interviewing to allow proper digestion

  • Salmon, broccoli and brown pasta (flavour with low-fat pasta sauce)
  • Chicken and kale wrap with (with seeded wrap)
  • Scrambled eggs and spinach on granary toast.